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Top 5: The Best Lizard Pets


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Thursday, 14 de May 2009

Top 5: The Best Lizard Pets
Lizards are becoming more and more popular each day in the pets’ market. The name ‘lizard’ has been used as a synonym for the reptiles’ suborder Lacertilia, which excludes snakes. Lizards are mostly animals with scales and four legs, except for the slow worm (or blindworm), which eventually lost their legs throughout their evolution.

There is a big variety of lizards: there are more than 5 thousand species of lizards all around the globe, except for the frozen continent Antarctica. Only a small portion of those are commercially available as pets. However, in time, the available variety of species tends to grow, although not all are indicated for those who are inexperienced on dealing with lizards.

Below, you’ll find the list of some of the best pet lizards, which bases its classification on the animal’s docility, its housing and feeding ability and its availability on the market.

1 – Leopard Gecko (Eublepharis macularius)

The Leopard Gecko is a great choice for beginners on dealing with lizards. It is a small reptile, with 18 to 25 cm. of length when kept in captivity, and you can easily house a pair of them on a 60x40x40 cm. terrarium. They are not aggressive almost at all and are quite tolerant when handled.

These are insectivore animals, whose diet is mostly based on crickets. They will accept, however, a great variety of insects, which actually should be introduced on their diet in order to widen it up a little more. They could turn out to be expensive pets to keep, since they need to be fed until they reject the food. Adults can eat up to 10–15 insects in one day, every two days.

You can now easily find leopard geckos for sale, including in several colour patterns and phases. The only thing that might be difficult is for you to choose one.

Advantages: Given that the leopard gecko is a night-time animal, it doesn’t need the same lighting care that day-time reptiles do, which means you can either use a weak potency UVB lamp or not even use one.

Disadvantages: Having a night-time pet also has its inconveniences, especially when it comes to compatibility with the owner’s “schedule”. Given the fact that these lizards’ highest activity period is opposite to most humans’, their owners will be asleep at the time when their pets are most active.

2 – Bearded Dragon (Pogona vitticeps)

The Bearded Dragon can still be viewed as a small animal if you consider lizards’ highest possible dimensions. With a 50–60 cm extent, the Bearded Dragon needs to be housed in a considerably sized terrarium: 90x50x50 cm is the ideal size for an adult specimen. This kind of lizard is actually an easy pet to find at sale.

The Bearded Dragon is a sociable, rather expressive pet that suits as an ideal lizard for contemplating purposes. It is also probably one of the best lizards when it comes to interaction with its owner. Besides interacting, it also tolerates being handled quite well, especially if you consider that this is a cold-blooded animal. It is a quite active pet in its terrarium.

Being an omnivore animal, the Bearded Dragon eats both insects and vegetables. This means its diet is a little more complicated to be followed by inexperienced owners. The ratio between the amount of insects and vegetables varies throughout this lizard’s lifetime. It is also recommended that you set a diversified feeding plan.

3 – Blue-tongued Skink (Tiliqua scincoides)

There are several species of blue-tongued lizards, being the most common one the Tiliqua scincoides. Having this lizard as a pet demands the same type of care as for the Bearded Dragon: they are both diurnal animals that need the lamps’ whole spectrum; there almost isn’t any difference between their sizes, since the blue-tongued skink’s body extent can also reach 60 cm, meaning the terrarium used needs to have the same dimensions. Both lizard species are docile and tolerate regular handling quite well, and both are omnivore. The blue-tongued skink is fed with insects, worms and vegetables as well, although not on the same proportions that bearded dragons are given.

Nevertheless, the blue-tongued skink is different from the bearded dragon and other lizards on some aspects as well. The blue-tongued is quieter than the bearded dragon although not as docile, and also accepts vegetables better at its younger age, which makes it easier to feed.

What might come as the most dramatic difference between the blue-tongued skink and other lizards is actually its price on stores. Although it is not particularly hard to find this kind of lizards on the reptile pets market, blue-tongued skinks are generally more expensive than the species mentioned before.

Advantages – The blue-tongued skink has a rather long life expectancy: from 18 to 20 years. This means that eventually the initial investment will pay off. These are also quite resistant pets when compared to other reptiles, particularly at